Salon profits are draining away – literally, with a third of all energy used to heat water. But a newly published audit into energy uses has revealed costs vary hugely depending on salon location.
The audit, published by Sustain Beauty Co in the run-up to Earth Month in April, shows that energy rates for salons in California, Hawaii and Alaska are twice those in Oregon, Missouri or North Carolina. Hawaii has the highest, at around 32.52 cents per kWh, while Louisiana has the lowest average rate, at around 8.81 cents per kWh.
“When it comes to energy costs, the highly populated states where demand is greatest cost more and it can be crippling for salons,” said Valorie Tate, founder of pioneering Sustain Beauty Co. “Our audit showed that over 30% of a salon’s energy goes on heating water that simply drains away in seconds during shampooing. Lighting follows at 20%. Using energy to heat water and good lighting is a must for salons, so the only way to level the playing field, and at the same time edge towards greater sustainability, is to look for better ways to conserve energy.”
To shed light on energy costs as a comparison, SBCo has published its map of average electricity rates. It has also made available the SBCo Sustainability Checklist, a curated roadmap of ideas to help salons edge towards sustainability by introducing incremental changes. An entire section is dedicated to energy conservation.
“Energy use is a significant contributor to our carbon footprint, so small changes in the way we operate can have a substantial impact on energy consumption and salon costs,” added Tate. “In high-cost areas, swapping over to biodegradable disposable towels rather than laundering traditional towels could help bring down expenses, while installing a low flow shower head can cut energy and water use by up to 65%.”
Tate also recommended unplugging appliances when they are not in use.
“Many appliances consume energy even when they are turned off or in standby mode, a phenomenon known as ‘vampire power’ or ‘phantom load.' This can account for up to 10% of your electricity bill,” she explained. “It is often higher in salons where cabinets have plugs for hairdryers, straightening irons and curlers so stylists never unplug their tools, but merely switch them off.”
The Sustainability Checklist is available to download for free here: https://sustainbeauty.co/sustainable-salons-resource-hub/